Best Of 2019: Indie Releases

Looking back on this year we were actually quite floored at how many quality releases we featured, so needless to say it was very difficult to whittle this bunch down to our faves.

Hellcats: The Hex and the Healer

Hellcats finally released their debut full-length album and it was every bit worth waiting for the riot. The two-piece rollick along at a break-neck pace tracking the process of getting totally fucked over by someone you adore (The Hex) and thinking you’ll never be whole again until you find someone new (The Healer). – Skye Mallac

Beat Sampras: Cruise

I’ve listened to at least one song off this album every day since it was released in September. I’ve tried to dabble with other beats but I find myself coming back to the simplicity of this groove. There’s an effortless way that sparse electric guitar riffs blend with R&B melodies while smooth vocals lift cutesy narratives to the forefront. Yes, I’m obsessed. – Tecla Ciolfi

ByLwansta: Chapter 1

ByLwansta showed a middle finger to his self-doubt and dropped this invigorating rap album at the beginning of the year that we haven’t been able to get enough of. One of SA’s most introspective lyricists, he takes on relatable themes of late nights, friendship, and the raw ease of relationships with a refreshing slant. It’s only a matter of time ’til big things come knocking. – Skye Mallac

Honeymoan – Body

Honeymoan’s debut EP broods on soft instrumentals and hypnotic vocals. Touching on our growing reliance for technology and questions of self worth, Honeymoan make their mark in a way that can only be described as a fearless step forward. – Alessandro Gueli

Peasant: Unrest Eternal

Death metal soaked generously in moody, sludgy riffage – these guys delivered some of the grungiest sound with eloquent poise this year. It’s a sonic onslaught: aggressive, wild, steeped in despair more often than not. Polished and delivered with a roar. – Skye Mallac

Lakei: Songs For

This release is the perfect ode to classic hip hop and R&B. Catchy bars, soothing vocals and clean production come together to create a tape that will leave you in awe of Cape Town’s self-taught student of sound. Lakei touches on love, lust and everyday life in his third release of the year, and it is executed to perfection. – Gavin Pierce

Mx. Blouse: Re: Mx

Mx. Blouse is out here pushing the envelope past the perceived norms of who they should be as a young, black, non-binary person and Re: Mx finds its musical identity as an expertly engineered celebration of kwaito in all its forms. – Skye Mallac

Runaway Nuns: Holy Confusion

Runaway Nuns make their debut, Holy Confusion, with low-fi garage renewal, and it’s a tight explosion of pit fuelled bangers. Get your hands, your ears, even your toes on this one – you won’t regret it. – Alessandro Gueli

PHFAT: sex love heartbreak

This is Smooth Mike at his most wholesome but also, at his darkest. He chronicles every emotion associated with the unholy trinity of sex, love and heartbreak and rips them raw until they’re in pieces bleeding on the floor and it’s his best release yet. – Skye Mallac

Julia Robert: Pop Bullies

Julia Robert’s second album presents us with a band that’s all grown up. Their upbeat energy is still there but it’s more controlled and has a darker edge to it, grounding this album and giving it a mighty weight. – Daniel Luckhoff Wessels